A dose of humor with your data

Contrary to the stereotype of a dull, boring persona, data analysts are often comics at heart.  Take Tim Elliot for example.  I like how he combines two of my favorite things: sketching (in his case cartoons) and clean humor to make data interesting.  Here is one of his cartoons. Click on the image to see more on his blog site.  ENJOY!


The Big Data Breakup


7 Big Data Solutions Try To Reshape Healthcare — InformationWeek

ToolsI found this article on healthcare analytics very informative.  It presents a balanced view of the current debate on big data.

CLICK the link below for a complete copy of the article:

7 Big Data Solutions Try To Reshape Healthcare — InformationWeek.

Be sure to weigh in on the discourse.

Tech Predictions for 2013

Looking into the futureIt is that time of year when proven experts and other self-proclaimed pros dust off their crystal balls and come up with what the future holds.  We all know that good data drive good predictions.  However, reading some of the proclamations made online, one might think that the ability to make predictions requires more of bravado than know-how.  I don’t doubt that “gut feel” is an essential component of predictions; it just should be the dominant component.

Anyway, since I am neither a tech expert nor a brave prognosticator, I prefer to let the experts do the talking.  I enjoy scanning predictions from diverse sources and once in a while, I share some.  This week I read what the experts at InformationWeek think 2013 will look like for Google.  Based on how they did in 2012, I feel they may be on to something.

CLICK HERE  for a recap of their 2012 predictions and what they see for 2013 (you may need to skip the flash ad).  Be sure to leave your comments.

Who Is Buying IT Products?

In 2010, U.S. businesses with employees spent a total of $263.1 billion on information and communication technology (ICT) equipment and computer software.  This represented an increase of 3.1%, from the total expenditures of $255.3 billion in 2009.

 Anecdotally, we suspect that tech companies are “raking” in revenues since each of us own and use multiple ICT products as an integral part of our daily routines. We also seem to have an insatiable need to upgrade these tools (or toys) with the latest and brightest.  The same appears true at the business level.

 In an economy characterized by sluggish growth and overall lackluster performance, the volume and positive trend in ICT spending is worth exploring, which is why I’ve put together the following chart:

The data show that three top buyers of ICT products (equipment and computer software) in 2009 and 2010 were companies in the Information sector, Finance and Insurance companies, and companies engaged in manufacturing.  Collectively, these three industry sectors accounted for 57.1% of total expenditures on ICT products in the U.S. in 2010, up from 56.7% share in 2009.  The role of the Information Sector as a prime ICT “consumer” is easy to appreciate because of the ubiquitous and dynamic nature of information services.

 According to the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS), the Information Sector comprises establishments engaged in the following processes: (a) producing and distributing information and cultural products, (b) providing the means to transmit or distribute these products as well as data or communications, and (c) processing data.  Cultural products are those that directly express attitudes, opinions, ideas, values, and artistic creativity; provide entertainment; or offer information and analysis concerning the past and present.

 The intangible property aspect of information and cultural products makes the processes involved in their production and distribution very different from other goods and services.  Only those enterprises that possess the rights to original works are authorized to reproduce, alter, improve, and distribute them. Acquiring and using those rights often involve significant costs.  Increasingly, technology is revolutionizing the acquisition and distribution of information products.  This bodes well for providers of the tech products that facilitate the production and distribution of information products.

 On the other end of the spending spectrum are companies operating in the agricultural sector, which tend to spend relatively less on ICT products.

 Data such as these provide vital insight for customer base analysis and empirical support for marketing budget allocation.  We explore these points further in upcoming posts. Stay tuned.

 CLICK HERE for a copy of the underlying U.S. Census data.

© Rachel Agheyisi, Report Content Writer, Business Intelligence Notes, 2012

Remembering Stats 101

Load of dataLike it or not, we are in the era of big data.  Daily we face literally waves of data about products, competitors, customers, domestic and global markets (it’s a small world after all!), and data about data.  Increasingly, business survival depends on the ability of decision-makers to make sense of the abundance of information coming to them from diverse sources.

The temptation to put on blinders and ignore the “data geeks” is strong – but frankly, it is not a viable option.  Words alone (no matter how lofty) can no longer sell convincingly.  Decision-making based solely on gut-feel is not sustainable in the long-term.

For many businesses (especially small and mid-size companies) it is time to dust off those file folders, coordinate those spreadsheets and data silos (hoarded by individual employees), and begin to make collective sense of their accuracy, relevance, and how to use them for better decision-making.  In my opinion, it is important to have a clear idea of the information you already have and the information you need before investing in the latest (or greatest) technology.  For instance, anyone who’s tried them will tell you that business intelligence tools (even those deployed on the SaaS platform)  can be expensive.  You’d need to be strategic to get the most benefit from them.

Given that data will only get bigger, the only (true) option is for businesses to become efficient at processing and managing the deluge of information.  Great oration and gut-feel might work, but chances are they’d work better when grounded in data and fact.  The issue is how to do that while running a profitable business.

Invariably, making sense of data calls for going back to the basics – to those terms and concepts that statisticians and data analysts thrive on.  Yes; just when you thought statistics was dead (as the orators would have us believe), it has come back big time.

This graphic spots some of those lovely data concepts we need to revive and implement as we strive to use big data work for smarter business decisions.  Consider the selection a working list.  In the coming weeks, I will explore some of the concepts in this blog as a way of fueling our collective recall.

Interesting Statistical Conepts

A good mantra to keep in mind is unused data is wasted business resource.

You might also check out the link below:

McKinsey Quarterly Talks Innovation Mojo

I always look forward to survey findings, interviews, and updates from McKinsey.  For one thing, you know you’d learn something credible — and often actionable.

This is why I want to share their recent article, part of a series from McKinsey’s public-sector practice.  It is the transcript of an interview with Todd Park, who in March ended a three-year stint as chief technology officer (CTO) of the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to take on the role of CTO of the United States.

It is about the innovation and technology.  It is a good read. You might find something beneficial as Todd Park explains how he has tried to find creative ways to use IT and data.

If you’re curious about Datapalooza, liquid data, and lean start-up, you’d like this information.

To read the article online go here

For a downloadable version of the article, CLICK HERE



© Rachel Agheyisi, Report Content Writer, and Business Intelligence Notes, 2012


Serious Information

Who’s most gullible online and why? Secrets from scam world revealed

If you are like me, you have an opinion about this topic.  In fact we are often quite sure of what being “gullible” is like and how we would never be caught in the tricks and traps of the scam underworld.

But do we really know?  Are we really out of the “gullible zone”?

Instead of guessing, why not check out some of the findings in this report from the  security firm PC Tools and survey firm The Ponemon Institute .  I’m sure you’d find some of the results surprising.

CLICK on the following link: Who’s most gullible online and why? Secrets from scam world revealed.

Tracking Image

© Rachel Agheyisi, Report Content Writer, Business Intelligence Notes Blog, 2012

Right Tools, Great Inspiration

Curious About Cloud Computing? Watch This!

Cloud-SunIt’s here, but yet unknown to many.  Cloud computing, that is.  So when I saw this video recently, I thought I should share it here as a way of spreading the word on the business benefits of  the cloud.  Stop by for more on the topic in the weeks ahead.

For now, CLICK HERE  and enjoy this informative, on-target take on cloud computing and document management from the friendly folks at NetDocuments.